One Piece chapter 1090 destroys any chance of romance between Luffy and Boa Hancock

Boa Hancock is interested in Luffy, but he sees her just as an ally and a friend (Image viaToei Animation, One Piece)
Boa Hancock is interested in Luffy, but he sees her just as an ally and a friend (Image viaToei Animation, One Piece)

Hailed for its intriguing plot, One Piece features a unique mix of adventure, epicness, and worldbuilding. Sentimentalism is a very minor aspect of Eiichiro Oda's story, as the record-breaking series is not a shojo but a shonen. However, romance still captivates fans, who frequently debate with whom Luffy will end up at the conclusion of the story.

The main point of contention is whether Luffy's partner will be Nami, one of the original members of the Straw Hat crew, or Boa Hancock, a former member of the Seven Warlords who has openly expressed her desire to become his wife. Interestingly, the latest installment of One Piece may have left a significant clue about how things will evolve.

Even though the Weekly Shonen Jump is on break, One Piece chapter 1090's raw scans are already circulating. Still, pending the official release, which is set for August 21, 2023, only fanmade translations will be available. Among the scenes featured in the chapter, one, in particular, led fans to debate the alleged romance between Luffy and Hancock.

Disclaimer: This article contains major spoilers from the One Piece manga up to chapter 1090.

The latest One Piece chapter portrays the Luffy X Hancock ship as a gag yet again

What happened in One Piece chapter 1090?

S-Snake, the Seraph based on Boa Hancock (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)
S-Snake, the Seraph based on Boa Hancock (Image via Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha, One Piece)

Barricaded in Egghead, the Straw Hat Pirates and their newfound allies have now been encircled as a massive fleet surrounds the island. On board the ships are Five Elders member Saint Saturn, Marine Admiral Kizaru, several major Navy officers, and countless soldiers. To secure an escape route, the Straw Hats took Vegapunk York hostage.

One of Dr Vegapunk's satellite bodies, York, was trying to sell out the scientist's head in exchange for a deal with the Five Elders. To ensure the success of her plan, she employed the Seraphim, powerful cyborgs that combine the former Warlords' signature powers with the Lunarian race's special abilities.

Seraphim are equipped with a substance called Green Blood, which can be instilled with a person's Lineage Factor, allowing them to transmit memories of said individual's experiences and skills. Among them is S-Snake, the Seraph based on Boa Hancock and, thus, in possession of her genetic blueprint.

Luffy's interaction with S-Snake in One Piece chapter 1090 (Image via Twitter)
Luffy's interaction with S-Snake in One Piece chapter 1090 (Image via Twitter)

Due to Boa's Lineage Factor, S-Snake's Green Blood replicates the former Warlord's Love-Love Fruit, which allows users to turn into stone people who feel emotions towards them. While Boa relies on her beauty to petrify whoever feels an attraction to her, S-Snake uses her natural cuteness to turn people who find her adorable into stone.

As seen in the leaks from the latest One Piece chapter, Luffy, with his trademark straightforward behavior, asked S-Snake to undo the petrification she cast on Franky and Usopp. Visibly blushing, S-Snake immediately accepted the request. When Luffy thanked her, the cyborg based on Boa Hancock flushed again, much like the "Pirate Empress" would have done.

The one-sided romance between Luffy and Boa

Luffy and Boa Hancock (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Luffy and Boa Hancock (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

The brief scene featured in One Piece 1090 is yet another in which the relationship between Luffy and Boa Hancock is portrayed as just a gag. With S-Snake's appearance recalling that of Hancock as a little girl, Luffy couldn't distinguish between the childish-looking cyborg and the real "Pirate Empress" of Amazon Lily, who is a 31-year-old woman.

This shows the humorous nature of their connection, as the same gag was used when Luffy couldn't tell the difference between the fake and the real Straw Hats back then in Sabaody or mistook Kaku for Usopp. Such comical moments are part of Luffy's simple-minded character, but, objectively, his relationship with Boa goes no further than that.

At least from Luffy's perspective, there's no emotional connection towards Boa, something that exists between the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates and Nami. Unlike the latter, Hancock openly declared her interest in Luffy, but he unequivocally rejected her. As is well known, Luffy is a very direct person who doesn't take his word back.

Luffy has absolutely no interest in traditional romance, only caring about food and adventures. For this reason, Boa learned to cook, aiming to show Luffy that she could be a good wife who would be able to satisfy his hunger. Still, her attempts to get him to fall in love with her are portrayed as nothing more than food-related gags.

Luffy plainly rejected Boa's marriage proposal, establishing that he doesn't see her as a partner. He simply views her as one of his many allies and friends. Regardless of his naive attitude, Luffy knows what marriage means and doesn't want it to happen with Hancock. Thus, her crush is one-sided, much like the typical jokes involving Sanji and the women of the series.

In One Piece, this kind of romance is typically used as comic relief. The humorous scenes between Hancock and Luffy are common shojo-mocking gags, as featured in Eiichiro Oda's story.

Luffy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Luffy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Rather than because he has big plans for their future together, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda likely had Hancock fall in love with Luffy as a plot device to create a logical reason for the Warlord to help the young pirate in his attempt to free his brother Ace. In her own right, Boa had no emotional impact on Luffy, unlike Nami.

The relationship between Luffy and Nami is based on their mutual trust, which is pivotal for love stories in One Piece. Conversely, Hancock's exaggerated reactions have nothing to do with the style of the series, which indeed makes fun of similar behaviors.

Boa considers Luffy her dream man, as, in her mind, he is the only good person while all other men are wicked egoists. Clearly, this is a very superficial and oversimplified vision.

Nami would make a better partner for Luffy in One Piece

Nami embracing Luffy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)
Nami embracing Luffy (Image via Toei Animation, One Piece)

Nami developed a sincere fondness for and complete loyalty to Luffy as he freed her from Arlong, who was blackmailing her and threatening her village. Nami used to hate all pirates, but her perspective changed after she met Luffy, whom she understood she could put all her trust in.

So far, no explicit indication of the connection between Luffy and Nami being a love story has been given, but several instances have hinted at Nami having some romantic feelings towards him. Interestingly, unlike the gags with Boa, those scenes are treated as rather serious moments.

Luffy may be very gullible and straightforward, but, as a human, he can develop romantic feelings like anyone else. Love is a natural thing, after all. If he ever develops any interest, he will just show it in his own way.

The way Oda portrays Kyros and Scarlet, Rayleigh and Shakky, Oden and Toki, Roger and Rouge, as well as Senor Pink and Russian, is diametrically opposed to how he depicts Sanji's approaches with women or Boa's relationship with Luffy. The connection between Luffy and Nami, based on their bond, seems much more akin to the first type than to the second.

Within the context of One Piece's storytelling, Luffy and Nami's sincere friendship has the concrete basis to turn into romantic love. Justifiably, many fans believe that if Luffy ever marries a woman, that person will be Nami. Clearly depicted as One Piece's main female heroine, the "Cat Burglar" would be the perfect partner for the franchise's protagonist.

Nami's relationship with Luffy has always been different than the one he has had with the other female characters in the series, including other female crewmates such as Nico Robin. In the famous moment where the Straw Hats attacked Enies Lobby to rescue Robin, Luffy spoke directly with her, but the whole crew was with them.

Instead, when Nami asked Luffy for help, One Piece author Eiichiro Oda made sure to have the interaction take place only between the two of them. Even in other adaptations of the franchise, such as movies, Nami is frequently portrayed as the woman with whom Luffy has the deepest emotional connection.

Together with Luffy and Zoro, Nami is a member of the crew's so-called "Original Trio", which further emphasizes her importance. With Luffy being bound to become the Pirate King, if there will ever be a Pirate Queen next to him, it seems reasonable to think that she will be Nami, the woman who accompanied him in all his adventures.

Their relationship, based on their peculiar traits, would follow the unique spirit of Eiichiro Oda's story, breaking the patterns of conventional romance.

Be sure to keep up with One Piece's manga, anime, and live-action, as 2023 progresses.